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Houses collapse, railway services suspended as massive earthquake hits Japan

Houses collapse, railway services suspended as massive earthquake hits Japan

- 3 successive earthquakes with magnitudes of 5.7, 6.1, and 7.6 lead to evacuation of people from coastal areas, trigger tsunami warning

By Esra Tekin and Islamuddin Sajid

ISTANBUL (AA) – Many houses collapsed and railway services were temporarily suspended in some areas of Japan after a massive earthquake hit the country, triggering a major tsunami warning.

East Japan Railway Co. said they suspended operations of all Tohoku, Joetsu, and Hokuriku Shinkansen lines due to the earthquake, Tokyo-based Kyodo News reported.

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called on the public to be alert for more powerful earthquakes, while authorities have already asked residents living near the coastal areas to evacuate and move to safer places.

So far, thousands of people have been evacuated from Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture, and other cities.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi said the earthquake has caused damage to buildings and roads.

"We have received reports of a building collapse with six people under rubble," Hayashi told reporters.

Photos posted on social media also showed huge destruction caused by the earthquake to roads and buildings in the Ishikawa prefecture. With the power system damaged, approximately 32,500 homes in the Ishikawa prefecture lost power.

Three successive strong earthquakes with magnitudes of 5.7, 6.1, and 7.6 jolted Japan on Monday, leading to a tsunami warning.

“There was an earthquake at around 16:18. The epicenter was in the Noto region of Ishikawa Prefecture, and a maximum seismic intensity of 5+ was observed. Do not approach dangerous areas where the shaking was strong,” said the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) on X.

“Currently, a major tsunami warning has been announced for Noto, Ishikawa Prefecture,” JMA added.

Tsunami alerts were also issued for the prefectures of Niigata, Toyama, Yamagata, Fukui, and Hyogo along the coast of the Japan Sea, said Japan’s broadcast NHK World.

All residents near the coastal line have been asked to leave immediately, the NHK reported.

"Tsunami waves may be higher than estimated and are expected to hit repeatedly. Keep evacuating to even higher ground wherever possible and do not leave the safe area until the warning is lifted,” the Cabinet office in charge of disaster prevention said on X.

There are no reports of irregularities at the nuclear power plants in the area, according to NHK.

South Korean authorities on Monday also issued alerts on rising sea levels in parts of the East Sea also known as Sea of Japan in Tokyo following strong earthquakes off Japan’s west coast, local media said.

The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said a tsunami in Japan could cause a rise in sea levels off the east coast of South Korea, Seoul-based Yonhap News reported.

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